For John Turturro, the best films master what happens between people


For Emmy Award-winning actor John Turturro, the most rewarding roles are the ones he spends the most time preparing for and the ones with deep collaboration, he tells “Salon Talks” in a wide-ranging interview.

“When I'm doing stuff like ‘Transformers,’ that's almost like a quick sketch. It's so heightened. And that's okay for a little bit,” he said to Salon’s D. Watkins. But Turturro feels most comfortable in roles similar to HBO’s mini-series “The Night Of,” where he plays a small-time lawyer defending a murder suspect.

Extensive research helped Turturro reach conclusions about his character’s actions. “I had like four months to prepare. I spoke with all kinds of lawyers,” he said. One particular super star Brooklyn lawyer helped him understand why his character—a far less successful attorney—never quite made it to that level. “I realized what it cost him to be good,” Turturro said of the lawyer he shadowed.

Roles like this one, and his current role as a 50-something divorcee looking for love in “Gloria Bell,” are “human roles” that focus on the “space between” two people. There is no villain and there is no hero, Turturro says.

Watch the video above to hear more about how Turturro prepares for roles, and watch the full episode to learn why collaborating with Julianne Moore on “Gloria Bell” was similar to being on a basketball team. “Gloria Bell” is in theaters now.


About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.


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